JAINISM IS ONE OF THE MOST ANCIENT RELIGIONS OF THE INDIAN LAND. IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE ETERNAL RELIGION, IN WHICH ANY SOUL CAN BECOME GOD. IN THE CENTRE OF THIS UNIVERSE THE FIRST ISLAND IS JAMBUDWEEP.IN THIS THERE ARE SHATKAAL CHANGES IN THE BHARAT SHETRA AND THE AIRAWAT KSHETRA THE FIRST PERIOD HAS TWO PARTS CALLED AVASARPINI AND UTSARPINI . EACH PART HAS 6 FURTHER PERIODS. FOR THE AVSARPINI KAAL THESE ARE- SUSHMA-SUSHMA,SUSHMA,SUSHMA-DUSHMA,DUSHMA-SUSHMA , DUSHMA AND ATIDUSHMA. THE 6 PERIODS OF UTSARPINI CALLED ARE- ATIDUSHMA ,DUSHMA, DUSMA-SUSHMA, SUSHMA-DUSHMA, SUSHMA AND SUSHMA-SUSHMA.
AT THE END OF THE THIRD PERIOD OF THE PRESENT AVSARPINI KAAL, 14 KULKARS ORIGINATED WHEN ONLY THE EIGHTH PART OF THE PALYA WAS LEFT.THE NAME OF THESE KULKARS ARE- PRATISHRUTI ,SANMATI ,KESHEMANKAR ,KSHEMANDAR ,SEEMANKAR ,SEEMANDHAR, VIMALVAHAN, CHAKSHUSHMAN ,YASHASVI, ABHICHANDRA , CHANDRABH, MARUDEV, PRASENJIT AND NABHIRAI. LORD RISHABHDEV WAS BORN TO THE LAST KULKAR NABHIRAI AND HE WAS FIRST TEERTHANKAR IN THIS ERA.
JAINISM IS A RELIGION, NOT A CAST. ONE SHOULD UNDERSTAND JAATI,GOTRA AND DHARM. AT PRESENT, IT IS ESTIMATED THERE ARE EIGHTY- FOUR CASTES AMONG THE JAIN COMMUNITY LIKE- AGGARWAL, PORWAL, KHANDELWAL,PADMAVATI PURVAL PARVAR, LAMECHU,CHATURTH,PANCHAM ETC. EVERY CASTE HAS ITS OWN GOTRAS.LIKE IN AGRAWALS ,THERE ARE GOEL, SINGAL, MITTAL ETC. IN KHANDELWALS, THERE ARE SETHI, RANVAKA, GANGWAL ETC. THUS CASTE AND GOTRA ARE DIFFERENT THINGS AND RELIGION IS ANOTHER. BUT STILL DUE TO SOME COMPULSIONS IT BECAME NECESSARY TO WRITE JAIN IN THE COLUMN OF CASTE AT THE TIME OF POPULATION CENSUS.
The Antiquity of Jainism
An impartial probe and investigation of the ancient history of India reveals the fact that Indians followed the trinity of religions which we call Hinduism, Brahminism, Buddhism and the religion of the Nirgranthas-Jainism. Latest researches and excavations have brought to light that Jainism has special significance from the view point of antiquity.
In the Buddhist scripture Majjima Nikaya, Buddha himself tells us about his ascetic life and its ordinances which are in conformity with the Jain monk's code of conduct. He says, ``Thus far, Sariputta did I go in my penance I went without clothes I licked my food from my hands. I took no food that was brought or meant especially for me. I accepted no invitation to a meal. Mrs. Rhys Davis has observed that Buddha found his two teachers Alara and Uddaka at Vaisali and started his religious life as a Jaina. At any rate Gautama gave himself up to a cause of austerities under the influence of his Jain teachers (Buddhism and Vaisali-P. 9; The Public Relations Department Bihar).
Dr. Jacobi on the basis of Buddhist literature establishes that Jainism existed before the birth of Budd.ismh In Dighanikaya's Samanna Phal Sutta the four vows of Lord Parshvanath (who flourished 250 years before Mahavira's liberation) have been mentioned. Attakatha of Anguttara Nikaya has a reference to Boppa Sakya a resident of Kapilvastu who was the uncle of Buddha and who followed the religion of the Nigganathas i.e. Jains. It has been pointed out in `Bihar Through The Ages' It is now universally accepted that the followers of Jainism were already in existence when Buddha strated his quest for truth.
Critical and comparative study has brought to light several words like `Asrava', `Samvara' etc. which have been used by the Jainsin the original sense but which have been mentioned in Buddhist literature in figurative sense. On the basis of these words Dr. Jacobi has concluded that Jainism is much older than the religion of Buddha and therefore it is incorrect to imagine Jainism as the off shoot of Buddhism. The Vedic scholar Lokamanya B.G. Tilak in his address at Baroda had said that Jainism was not founded by Lord Mahavira, but Lord Mahavira brought into prominence the doctrines of Jainism. Jain religion was prevalent in India before Buddhism. In ancient times innumerable animals were butchered in sacrifice. The evidence in support of this is witnessed in various poetic compositions such as Meghadut; but the credit of the disappearance of this terrible massacre from the Brahmanical religion goes to the share of Jainism.
Some historians think that Jainism is, no doubt, much prior to Buddhism, but it is a protestant creed which revolted against the sacrifices of the Vedic cult. The advanced researches show that the above stand has no foundation. The respectable and reliable sacred books of the Hindus themselves establish the most ancient nature of Jain thought. Rigveda, the oldest Hindu scripture refers to Lord Rishabha Deo, who was the founder of Jainism. It also speaks about the Vaman Avtar-incarnation who is the 15th incarnation. Amongst the 24 incarnations Rishabha's name comes as the 9th incarnation of Vishnu. Rishabha's name occurs before Vamana or Dwarf Ram, Krishna and Buddha incarnations. Therefore it is quite clear that Rishabha must have flourished long before the composition of the Rigveda. The great scholar Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, ex-President of Indian Union, in his `Indian Philosophy' had observed, `Jain tradition ascribes the origin of the system to Rishabha'deo, who lived many centures back. There is evidence to show that as far back as the first century B.C., there were people who were worshipping Rishabhadeo, the first Tirthankara. There is no doubt that Jainism prevailed even before Vardhaman or Parsvanatha. The Yajurveda mentions the name of three Tirthankaras-Rishabha, Ajitnath and Arshtanemi. The Bhagwat Puran endorses the view that Rishabhadeva was the founder of Jainism (Vol II p. 287).
The Gita tells us that the instructions about the philosophy of Yoga were first imparted to Sun (Vaivasvata), then to Manu, who passed it on to king lkshvaku. After this the knowledge of Yoga fell into oblivion for a very long period. This ancient Yoga doctrine was then taught by Shri Krishna to Arjuna in the Gita. Chapter 4-1, 2 and 3).
Acharya Samant Bhadra of the second century A. D. in his Swayambhu Stotra says that Lord Rishabha was the first person of lkshavaku clan ’’इक्ष्वाकुकुलादिरात्मवान् वृषभः प्रभुः प्रवव्राज।’’ This establishes the fact that the period of Rishabha is very ancient. Therefore, the system of thought called Jainism must naturally be very ancient, since it was founded by Lord Rishabhadeo.
The excavations made at Mohenjodaro and Harappa show that Jainism existed flve thousand years ago because the pose of the standing deities on the Indus seals resembles the pose of standing image of Rishabhadeo obtained from Mathura. The feeling of abandonment that characterises the standing figures of the Indus seals, three to five (Plate II, I. G. N.) with a bull in the foreground may be the prototype of Rishabha. (Modern Review August 1932-Sindha Five Thousand Years Ago). Rishabha has been spoken of as Yogishwara by poet Jinasena in his Mahapurana. Therefore, the Indus valley excavated material glaringly establishes the fact that the founder of Jainism belonged to the pre-Vedic period. The nude Jain idol of 320 B. C., in the Patna Museum, of Lohanipur helps us to support the above contention.
Dr. H. Zimmer in his book `The Philosophies of India' speaks of Jainism as the oldest of Non-Aryan group. He calls it ``Pre-Aryan (P 60). Dr. Zimmer believed ``That there is truth in the Jain idea that their religion goes back to remote antiquity, the antiquity in question being that of the pre-Aryan, so called Dravidian period, which has recently been dramatically disillusioned by the discovery of a series of great Late Stone Age cities in the Indus Valley, dating from the third and even perhaps fourth millennium. B.C. Cf. Ernest Mackay, The Indus Civilization London, 1935; also Zimmer, Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization' p. 93h-vide-Philosophies of India, by Heinrich Zimmer p 60. He further observes-``Jainism does not derive from Brahminism-Aryan sources reflect the cosmology and anthropology of a much older pre-Aryan upper class of North-Eastern India (p. 210).
The renowned Jain scholar Prof. A. Chakravarty's researches have brought to light priceless material which proves the most ancient nature of Jain thought. When the Aryan invaders had come to India, the Dravidians, who inhabited this land vehemently opposed them. The Rigveda Aryan thinkers refer to these Anti-Aryan Dravidians as enemies and therefore, called them in uncomplimentary terms. These were called `Dasyus.' The Aryan god Indra is hailed as Dasyuhatya, slaughterer of Dasyus. These enemies were styled as `Ayajvan'-non sacrificing, `Akarman' without rites, `Adevaya' indifferent to gods, `Anyavrata' following strange ordinances and `Devapeeya', reviling the gods. They are described as black skinned and `Anas', snub-nosed. The other epithet was `Mridhravac' unintelligible speech. Oriental scholars are of opinion, probably rightly, that these races of Dasyus who opposed the Aryans were the Dravidians, who inhabited the land, when the Aryans invaded the country. They are called `Sisnadevas,' because they worshipped the nude figure of man.
The outstanding Tamil treatise on grammer `Tholkappiam' informs us that the people of South worshipped the supreme deity called `Kandazhi,' which means one who destroys all karmas and becomes Parmatma. This is distinctly a Jain conception of God. The author of Tholkappiam says that this Kandazhi was the object of worship in Tamil land. The other meaning of the term is, one who destroys the Kandhu or post to which the victim of sacrifice was tied. The supreme being is so called because of the Yagna in the land. The term shows the highest religious ideal associated only with Jainism. (Yesterday and Today p. p. 60, 61, 68, 69).
The critical study of some Vedic Hymns like Nadsiya Sukta shows that there must have been a peculiar current of thought existing in the pre-Vedic period which influenced the Vedas. Dr. Mangaldev feels that, ``Jain Philosophy might be a branch of the pre. Vedic current of thought. Some Jain terms like `Pudgala'—matter support the aforesaid point. Dr. Zimmer opines that ``Jainism along with Yoga and Sankhya systems of thought existed in the country before the Aryans came to India.
A glance over the glorious past of Jainism reveals the fact that the lives of Rishabhadeo and the succeeding twenty three Tirthankaras had deeply impressed the entire world culture. When Alexander invaded India he came across a host of nude Jain saints in Taxila whom the Greek writers call `Gymnosophists.' The Greek word connotes the nude philosopher. The mystic group of Israel, called the Essenes, was much influenced by these `Gymnosophists', who were preaching their message of Ahimsa, the central truth in Jainism to the people of Alexandria in Egypt. Historical records tell us that the Greeks were much influenced by Jain thought. Alexander had taken one Jain saint Calanes with him to his country.
It is to be noted that the Essenes of Israel were ascetics following the tenets of Ahimsa. They had great hold upon the people and they commanded deep influence in Palestine. John the Baptist was an ascetic teacher of this & chooe of Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity was much influenced by John's Non-violence cult and other teachers of Essenism. In six hundred B.C. this cult of Non-violence was progressing beyond Syria and Palestine. The Jain teachings had also influenced Pythagoras, the philosopher of pre-Socratic period, who flourished in 532 B. C. and led the non-violent way of life. During this period Lord Mahavira, the twenty-fourth Jain Tithankara, whom the ignorant people call the founder of Jainism, was living. Perhaps Lord Mahavira's teachings had influenced the people of far off countries.
In his book, The Magic of Numbers, E. T. Bell (p. 87) tells that once Pythagoras saw a citizen beating his dog with a stick, whereupon the merciful philosopher shouted, ``Stop beating that dog. In his howls of pain I recognise the voice of a friend.....For such a sin as you are committing he is now the dog of a harsh master. By the next turn the wheel of birth may make him the master and you the day. May he be more merciful to you than you are to him. Only thus can he escape the wheel. In the name of Apollo, My father, stop or I shall be compelled to say on you the ten fold curse of the Teteractyas. This reveals the effect of Jainism.
The comparative study of religious literature has led many a scholar to recognise the influence of the twenty-third Jain Tirthankara Lord Parsvnath upon the then prevailing Vedic sages of the Upanishadic period. The great Jain saint Samantbhadra in his book of the second century after Christ speaks that the recluses, who lived in the forests were influenced by Omniscient Lord Parsvnath and they took shelter under the Lord for Enlightenment and Internal peace `वनोकसा तपोधनः शरण प्रपेदिरे’।
The epigraphical evidence also proves the great influence of Jain thought in B. C. days. Rai Bahadur Gaurishanker Hirashanker Ojha had deciphered a remarkable inscription of the village Badli near Ajmer (Rajasthan). The inscription reads thus-वीराय भगवते चतुरासीतिवसे काये जालामार्लिनिये रनिबिठ माझिमिनिके’।
According to Dr. Ojha this refers to 84 Vira Nirvana era i. e. 443 B. C. This speaks of the prevalence of Jainism in Rajputana 2400 years ago.
The study of Hathigumpha inscription of Udaigiri hill about 3 miles from Bhubaneshwar written in Apabhransa Prakrit throws valuable light on the antiquity of Jainism. It begins with an invocation to Arhant and Siddhas in the traditional Jain style. This shows that Kalinga Chakravartin Kharvela was a Jain king. With regard to this inscription the observations of Dr. K. P. Jayaswal are very important. He has remarked, ``Jainism had already entered Orissa as early as the time of king Nanda, who as I have shown was Nanda Vardhan of the Sesunaga dynasty. Before the time of Kharavela there were temples of the Arhants on the Udaigiri Hills, as they are mentioned in the inscriptions as institutions, which had been in existence before Kharavela's time. It seems that Jainism had been the national religion of Orissa for some centuries (J. B. O. Q. S. Vol III P. 44). He further remarks, ``This inscription occupies a unique position amongst the materials of Indian History for the centuries preceding the Christian era ..... From the point of view of the history of Jainism, it is the most important inscription yet discovered in the country. It confirms Puranic record and carries the dynastic chronology to C. 450 B.C.
This shows that Lord Rishabhadeo was worshipped by the Indians even about 2500 years ago. Several inscriptions of Mathura deciphered by Dr. Fuhrer show that Rishabhadeo had an important place during B. C. days, since there are dedications and offerings of a very ancient date made to Rishabha (Outlines of Jainism P. XXXIII).
The edicts if Asoka show that Jainism was very important in 275 B. C. Therefore, he had appointed special officers (‘धर्म महामाप्य’) for looking into the affairs of Jainism like those of Brahmanism, Buddhism and the sect of Ajivakas. Prof. Kern (Indian Antiquary Vol. V. P. 205) says, ``His (Asoka's) ordinances concerning the sparing of animal life agree much more closely with the ideas of the heretical Jains than those of Buddhists'.
Commenting upon the discoveries of Mathura, historian Vincent Smith observes, ``The discoveries have, to a very large extent, supplied corroboration to the written Jain tradition and they offer tangible and incontrovertible proof of the antiquity of the Jain religion and of its early existence very much in its present form. The series of twenty-four pontiffs (Tirhanakaras) each in his distinctive emblem was evidently firmly believed in at the beginning of the Christian era.
It is interesting to note that this country is called Bharata-the land of Bharat who was the eldest son of Rishabhadeo. It is worthy to note that Markendey Purana, Kurma Purana, Vishnu Purana, Linga Purana, Brahmanda Purana and other Hindu Puranas support the Jain view that the country is called Bharata after Rishabhadeo's son who was the sovereign ruler.
Dr. Hermann Jacobi's studies and balanced observations made before the 3rd International Congress of the History of Religions, should find place in the hearts of the savants of truth all the world over. ``In conclusion let me assert my conviction that Jainism is an original system, quite distinct and independent from all others and that, therefore, it is of great importance for the study of philosophical thought and religious life in ancient India.
*The essay read in the XXVI International Congress of Orientalists held in New Delhi on 5th of January 1964.
The Doctrine of Ahimsa
It is remarkable that the Jain tenets although very ancient and rational are also most modern and uptodate. The doctrine of Ahimsa and its rational, scientific and practical exposition in Jainism is unique and unparalleled in the history of human thought. This doctrine has attracted the attention of the entire globe due to its successful application in liberating India from the foreign domination by the struggle for emancipation based upon the principle of Ahimsanon-violence. Mahatma Gandhi, while presiding over a Jain function celebrating the birth-day of Lord Mahavira at Ahmedabad in 1920, had paid glowing tributes to this Jain doctrine and had added that because of this ennobling and golden gospel of compassion, Jainism can become the religion of the whole world.
These remarks of Gandhiji are very illuminating, ``If anybody has developed the doctrine of nonviolence it was Lord Mahavira but the modern society does not follow the Lord properly. I request you to understand the Teachings of Lord Mahavira, think over them and translate them into action". It is matter fo profound gratification that almost all religions of the world accept the superiority and majesty of this noble doctrine. jainism has worked out this principle in a most scientific, rational and pratical manner. Therefore, all agree that the cult of non-violence is the unique and most sublime contribution of jainism to humanity.
According to Romain Rolland," The Rishis, who discovered the law of of non-violence in the midst of violence were greater geniuses than Newton, greater warriors than wellington. Non-violence is the law of our species as violence is the law of the brute."This basic principle of jainism had much infiuenced Gandhiji from his boyhood. In his book ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ Romain Rolland says, “ His parents were the followers of the jain School. Before leaving India his mother made him take ‘the three vows’ of a jain which prescribe abstentio from wine, meat and sexual intercourse(PP.g and 11). George Catlin’s book “In the path of Mahatma Gandhi” points out, “M.K. Gandhi’s mother was under Jain influence.”(P.101).
It is remarkable that through the medium of Mahatma Gandhi, the superiority of the weapon of Ahimsa over the armaments of destruction has been acknowledged. Gandhiji said, “Non-violence is the greatest froce at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” (Religion and society- By Dr-S. Radhakrishan P.237). In fact, Ahimsha is the royal road to place and prosperity. It unforturate that all nations are busy in manufacturing the most ferociouse weapon of destruction which will destroy the whole stock of human civilization and bring about utter extinction of the entire human race. Late John F. Kennedy, the ex-president of America on june 10, 1963 speaking on peace for all men and for all time had said, “A single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all of the allied air forces in the Second World War” He had observed, ``No nation in the history of battle ever suffired more than the Russians suggered in the course of the second world war. At least 20 millions lost their lives. Countless homes and farms were burnt or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory, including nearly two-thirds of its industrial base was turned into a wasteland.”
The pacifist thinker late Bertrand Russel had observed "A bomb can now be manufactured which will be 25000 times as powerful as that which destroyed Hiroshima."
It is very unfortunate that the massive massacre- might has made astounding advancement and now the entire humanity can be destroyed in a very short time. " it is reported that in 1983 there are 6000 nuclear weapons. A fraction of these will destroy 750 million people with another 340 million seriously injured. This is revealed by the researches of Royal Swedish Academy of Science" (Nagpur times 4th july 1983)
At this critical juncture the warning of historian Toynbee conveyed in New Delhi is valuable, " In the hurricane of annihilating material power provided by atomic energy, the practice of non-violence is necessary for mankind to save it from self-destruction." (Hindustan Times 25-2-60)
The need of the hour is that people should sincerely try to imbibe the spirit of ahimsa as enunciated in the sacred jain literature. When Gandhiji's path was darkened by insurmountable difficulties, C.F. Andrews says, " He very often turned the pages of jain works for a Kindly Light in that encircling gloom " When I met Gandhiji in wardha Ashram in 1934. he said " It is remarkable that unlike vedic religion) Jainism stands for pure Ahimsa without any reservation." In view of the prevailing hatred, vanity, discord, animosity and other evil tendencies, it appears that we have unwisely constructed our houses over a silent-looking volcano and no one knows what will happen, the moment it becomes active to emit fire out of it. The ambrosia of Ahimsa is the only effectiv and powerful remedy to undo the pernicious effects of uabated materialism and self centred outlook. Mere name of Ahimsa or sweet orations in its praise would not serve our purpose It must be honestly translated into life.
The term Ahimsa is negative implying abstinence from killing any living being but it is also a positive virtue based upon universal and fraternal outlook and compassion towards all creatures. Non-violence comprises of purity of thought, word and deed motivated by unbounded compassion and genuine love. Affection in action is essential for Ahimsa. The cultured man ought to be viceless and he should listen to the voiceless and innocent creatures' Iamentations and wailings.
Jain thinkers have enjoined upon a votary of Ahimsa to get rid of such violent, callous and cruel practices as meat-eating, hunting for sport and drinking which make the heart merciless callous and, in fact, kill the conscience. The noble ideal of sanctlty of life should be honoured without any reservation.
If one takes a broader outlook and adopts a benevolent attitude, he will immediately understand the sublimity of the above ordinance. One who relishes the flesh of an animal at the dining table without any compunction cannot really understand and fully appreciate the sublimity and majesty of Ahimsa doctrine.
If the heart is not hardened and the conscience is not brutalised, one will agree with these sober remarks of Dr.Annie Besant, "Humanity rises, becomes nobler and diviner as the virtues of unselfishness, selfsacrifice and compassion for the weak develop. We all love things that live. God is love."
If a person fattens his body by the flesh of other animals' his adoration of Ahimsa is, in fact, hypocritical. The point for serious consideration of a rational person is, if a thorn which pricks into your foot, makes you uneasy and uncomfortable, would not your bullet-shot or storke of knife cause indescribable agony to the innocent , helpless, miserable and spechless victim ? It is extermely surorising to near tall talk about morality, amity, hadmony, fraternity and universal brotherhood from the cultured leaders of modern society, who forget the miseries of the mute animals, whose flesh they enjoy with great taste and satisfaction. Handhiji in his essay on vegetari-anism says, " Vegetarian moralists also argue that since meat-eating is not only unnecessary, but harmful to the system, indulgence in it is immoral and sinful , because it involves the infliction of unnecessary pain and cruclty towards harmless animals." He further observes," I submit the following for he consideration of those who believe in the Bible. Before the Fall we were vegetarians. And God said : behold I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat and to every beast of the earth and to every fowl of the air, to everything that creepeth upon the earth, where in there is life, I have given every green herb for meat and it was so."
Gandhiji referring to the glorious Christian period of restitution quotes thus, " The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a litter child shall lead them ------ And the lion shall eat straw like the ox------- They shall not hurt nor destroy in my holy mountains; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
jain thinkers have strictly ordained that a disciple should at the outset learn the lesson of sanctity of life. He should trea all life as sacred and become a strict Vegetarian. Meat-eating distroys the root of mercy and universal fraternity. The heart in fact becomes like the heart of a callous Carnivora. Is not his stomach the graveyard of the butchured innocent animals ?
It is noteworthy that modern scientists are in favour of Vegetarian diat. " The Times of India" provides us with these valuable observations in this contest. "Scientists have found that non-vegetarian food increases the tendency towards chronic complaints. Its highly saturated fat content is also prone to raise blood cholesterol levels dangerously leading to heart attack & strokes. In the habitual meateaters the cholesterol deposits itself on the inside walls of blood vessels in a condition known as arteriosclerosis thus restricting or stopping blood supply to the heart."
" In U.S.A. today there is a marked swing to wards vegetarianism. In recent times seven millon Americans have turned away from flesh foods. George Bernard shaw is often upheld by Western vegetarians and they emulate him believing that it will yield life of mental and physical vigour & longevity - Flesh consumption can be hazardous in a tropical climate like India where decomposition is fast on account of heat and where no proper refrigeration facilities exist to keep it safer" (24 jan. 1982)
Riskin's observations are thought-provoking, "Unless you are deliberately kind to every creature you will often be cruel to many."
Those who kill others froget that a time will come when they will have to reap the fruits of their cruel practices. If we sow the seed of a banyan tree how can we get an orange tree ? Like wise, if we nures violence, cruelty or hatred in our hearts we will not only spread the baneful aura of evil thought, but it will also give rise to more heinous evil tendencies. If, on the other hand , we sow the seed pf goodwill, sincerity and friendship towards all beings, we are sure to reap a rich harvest of inreased goodwill and friendship. The Bible says , " Whatsover a man soweth that shall he also reap. He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it. They have sown the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind." Purity of life is essential and indispensable for real joy.
Serious thought and sober reflection show that animal butchery is against human nature. These remarks of Francis Bacon are illuminating, " Nature has endow-d man with a noble and excellent principle of compassion which extends also to the dumb animals. Hence , this compassion has some resemblance to that of a prince towards his subjects." He furher observes." And it is certain that the noblest souls are the most extensively compassionate, for narrow and degenerate minds think that compassion belongs not to them, but a great soul; the noblest part of creation is ever compassionate."
selfish and shortsighted people say, "Animals have no souls, therefore, there is nothing wrong in relishing their meat" This is a wrong and irrational approach to the real state of affairs. A compassionate cardinal has observed, " The ancients treated man of the rightless classes much as we treat animals. Gladiators could be killed for sport and Galen and Celsus speak of the established practice of human vivisection on the persons of criminals, doubtless on the weighty ground of high benevolence." It the moderner feels and arguse that the approch of the ancients was wrong, brutal and vulgar, why not the same logic be applied to the case of voiceless and innocent animals who also think and feel like us ? Man must behave like a sensible , rational and cultured creature.
Man should not be mean and brutal. He has to answer the point, whether kine, like men have any right to live and survive or not ? A cultured gentleman should not encroach upon the natural right of others on the ground of his superior intelligence. If he is really cultured he must respect the legitimate rights of others. 'MAN' is meaningful. It signifils that 'M' stands for mercy , "A" suggests affection and "N" denotes Noble life. Mercy , Affection add Noble conduct are essential for a real man, if he does not belong to the category of a beast.
Some men of extremely refined taste angrily remark that it is indecent and unjust to criticise one's personal life and conduct , which depend upon personal tastes and temperaments. These fellows are warned of the evil consequences of their heartless and callous conduct. They must remember that the path of ctuelty leads to destruction and grily and the life of love and mercy leads to divinity and bliss. Dr. George Arundale in his book " The Night Bell" writes, " One way leads to destruction. It is theway of folerance of cruelty, if not active engagement in it. It is the way of hunting for sport, the way of vicvise the way of killing animals for food, the way of making slaves of animals without thought for their happiness and well- being. This is the way the world has been treading."
"The other way leads to salvation. It is the way of harmlessness, the way of recognition of brother hood with all creatures, the way of endurance and compassion, the way of service and not of selfishness.
The sensible and soberminded embrace the sublime path of love all, serve all. If this Divine ideal is implanted in every heart and faithfully followed. the climate of this troubled and turbulent globe will be healthy and glorious in no time.
From the aesthetic poin also, the call of compassion is valuable and worthy of approbation. Jawaharlal Nehru's words are interesting. "Life would become very dull and odourless, if we do not have these magnificent animals and brids to look at and play with.
Jain thinkers fully understand the difficulties which come in the way of the practice of complete non-violence, since life is impossible without destruction of innumerable small insects. The life of a tyrant and a sefish short-sighted person has been condemned.
There are various grades for the practice of this noble principle. The novice should abandon Intentional Injury to the vitaliries of other creatures.If there is no 'Mens rea' - guilty intention, one is not adjudicated guilty of violence, e.g., a surgeon care fully perfroms an operation with all attention and yet the patient may die. In that case the doctor will not be guilty of the murder of the man, on the other hand the burglar who robs a citizen of his valuables will be puni shed as a felon because of his evil motive. Motive is the important factor whether an act comes under the purview of violence or otherwise. With a view to achieve mental purity and equanimity one must try his level best to be as much merciful as the circumstances permit him to practice. The house holder's non-voleuce is partial and he can not attain perfection in its practice due to his various responsibilities and liabilities.As he advances in spiritual plane and controls his passions he can make rapid strides on the path of progress and gradually become perfect in his achievement. The complete and flawless practice of Ahimsa raises the man to Godhood.This Ahimsa gives Light, provides Delight and bestows Might to its faithful and honest aspirant.
The life of mercy has a touch of divinity therein. These words are thought-provoking, " All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth (psalm 25:10). Be ye ! therefore, merciful for your Father also is merciful" (Luke VI, 36). Shakespeare also honours this view when he says, " It is an attribute to God him self." (Merchant fo venice). The merciful man can hope for Divine mercy but it looks awkward when the cruel and tyrant felon expects mercy of God inspite of his henious and cruel way of Life.
Gandhiji who is known as the greatest disciple of Ahimsa was, in fact, on the lowest rung of the ladder. He aspired the highest type of Ahimsa by becoming a nude jain monk. When Churchill had rebuked Gandhiji by calling him " A naked Fakir" , he had informed Churchill " I would love to be a naked Fakir but I am not one yet.' (The life of Mahatma Gandhiji by L. fisher P.473).
It is to be noted that nudity of the non-violent saints is not an end in itself, but it is a means to attain the bliss of Nirvana. Jain scriptures have strongly condemned that nudity which is not adorned with the highest type of noble and virtuous life. A monkey is naked, innumerable living souls remain naked; their purity of life will do no good to their struggling souls. That nudity is commendable which is resorted to for self-purification.
Dr. Sir M.B. Niyogi, Ex-Chief Justice of the Nagpur High Court, was much impressed by the noble and lofty character of a * Digamber Jain Saint, Sir Sumatisagarji Maharaj. He, observed : "Nudity is the climax of the self- sacrifice and self-purification. It is the triumphant conquest over the vices of greed, prvudice and other carnal desires. When a man renounces all his belongings and becomes fearless, then only he can discard the last symbol of this worldly attachment by enbracing the cult of nudism. This is the highest stage, which every real sadhu aspires to attain in this life." (Leader, Allahabad 15-1-45).
History records that these highli cultured, non-violent nude and elevated souls were respected and highly venerated by monarchs and the common men alike. The great grand-father of king Ashoka called Chandra Gupta Maurya had become a nude jain monk. The act of subjugating inner passions and nmanal cravings is not an easy affair. Poet Tagore's remarks made in his lectures in America are very significant , " In this natural world with the help of science man is turning the forces of nature in to obedince. But in this moral world he has a harder task to accomplish. He has to turn his own passions and desirs from tyranny in to obedience." (Personality p.90) Such non-violent saints enjoy the beauties and sublimities of the inner world. These remarks of Milton are illuminating." He who reigns within himself and rules his passions and fears is more than a king." He sports in the self delights in the Self; for he has to obtain the kingdom of heaven hidden within.
Those souls who are spiritually and mentally weak lead the life of house-holders and discharge their duties with a compassionate outlook. Jainism has not taken an extreme and one-sided view of Ahimsa for a layman. It has classified it in to various stages according to the mental make up and environments of the adherent. Even the use of weapons has not always been wholly condemned or discarded on the occasion of safe-guarding and maintaining the dignity of Law and Justice, against the aggressive and vindictive measures of the culprits in the absence of some other better way and make it impossible for the miscreants to disturb the smooth and peaceful working of the society.
To punish the wicked is a sacred duty. Thomas Jafferson's words are significat, " Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God " As a matter of fact the avoidance of voluntary or intentional injury has been enjoined upon all the vataries of non-violence. It is thereforl consistent with the doctrine of non-violence to rule over vast territories. It is a historical fact that jain monarchs such as Bimbasar, Chandragupta Maurya, Samprati, Kharvela, Amoghvarsha, Kumarpala etc. had ruled over the contry with remarkable success.
King's sacred duty is to protect the innocent, noble and pious subjects and punish the wicked. If the ruler forgets his responsibility, there will be the rule of anarchy and the people will come to distress. In this Context Guru Nanak's observations are significant, " When the strong fall upon the strong, there is little cause for regret, but when a blood-thirsty tiger pounces on defenceless cows, the cowherd must come to their rescue." Every sensible person will agree that the arrogant aggressor must be punished severely so that his criminal tendency may be curbed for ever. I he remarks of Sardar Patel are in consonance with the philosophy of ahimsa, ``In this kaliyuha ull shall return Ahimsa for Ahimsa but if some one resorts to force against us we shall meet it with force." (The indomitable Sardar P.243).
The celebrated Jain monk Swami Samanta Bhadra writes, " Lord Shanti Nath (the 16th jain Prophet), when a house-holder, had conquered over the multitu of monarchs of the whole world." Chamundaraya, the renowned minister of Ganga, the king of South and a great Jain devotee, hadwaged several wars himself. It is interesting to note that he had composed a book on Jain Ethics in the battle-field.
R. B. Dr. G. H.Ojha's remarks are significant
"Valour is not the monopoly of any particular community. India has produced chivalrous person in every community. Rajputana has always been the land of the brave. The Jains have neve lagged behind in this respect, insppite of the prominent place alloted to compassion in Jainism. Since many centuries he Jains have been occupying the exalted offices of the ministers and the like. In hour of national references whereof occur in history."
The fundamental point is that one should not resort to violence as far as possible. He should not take pleasure in case he happens to destroy life under compulsion. In his heart the genial current of compassion should never stop its inner flow. Although a warrior or a monarch, he will hever touch wine or meat , Since they disturb the purity of mind and equanimity, which are the guiding factors to take the right decision under the circumstances. Tolstoy has said, " I flatly declare that a man fed on whisky and dead bodies cannot do the finest work of which he is capable. " (Leaders of Modern Thought P.35)." The vision of the non-violent house holder is not blcrred by the pomp or power of the world. He knows his place in this huge world . he feels seriously that our life is uncertain.
We are like sands upon the shore,
A little wave and we are no more.
In this context the words of Ernest Hemingsway are significant—``Every single man's death reduces me for, I am one of mankind. Hence, I never ask, ``for whom the bell tolls ? It tolls for me.
A person blessed with this wisdom tries his best to adopt pure, and virtuous code of conduct. ``Jain ethich are meant for men of all positions; for kings, warriors, traders, artisans, agriculturists and indeed for man and women in every walk of life. Do your duty and do it as humanely as you can. This, in brief, is the primary precept of Jainism. (Smith—History of India P. 53).
Lord Mahavira has warned the world against the consequences of the callous life of a cruel and merciless person. Lord has said, ``All the miseries spring up from violence—Ahimsa. The life of Ahimsa helps a person to attain Godhood and enjoy the everlasting happiness, It is said that, ``God does not ask money of you but a merciful heart and a pious mind (Clement A. N. C. L. Vol. III, P. 453-455) Emerson's words are worthy of note, ``he kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace. The ethical code for a noble man should be, ``to live, let live and help others to live.
Those who aspire for internal peace, worldly progress and plenty should concentrate their attention upon these words of Jain saint Kundkunda expressed in his Tirukkural, ``A person who has personally experienced what is injurious to his own life, why should he inflict injury on other living beings ? Killing brings all other evils.
``Share your meal with the needy. Protect every living being. This is the chief of all the moral precepts formulated by those well-versed in scriptureds.
``Not to kill is one good deed par excellence. Next to this comes the virture or speaking truth.
``Even though the happiness of heaven obtained by sacrifice be great, wisemen despise it as worthless, because it is won by slaughter. What comes from virtue is real happiness. All else is other than real happiness and also devoid of glory. Know ye, that what ought be done by each is virtue and that what ought to be shunned by each is vice. Be pure in mind. That is just the nature of virtue. All else is empty sound and quite worthless. (Tirruk-kural)
These sublime thoughts of saint Amitgati should illumine every thinking soul, ``O my Lord, make my-self such, that I may always have love for all living beings, pleasure in the company of the virtuous, sympathy for the afflicted and tolerance for those perversely inclined. (Pure Thoughts).
May the radiant sun of mercy bestow kindly light to those, who are wandering on the pernicious path of Vanity, Cruelty and Barbarity.
The Philosophy of Karma
Almost all believers in the transmigration of soul attach great importance to the Karma theory. The adage, `as you sow, so you reap' is significant enough to show the universality and popularity of this doctrine. The treatment of this topic is unique in Jain philosophy in as much as it is rational, scientific, and elaborate.
Our critical examination of the universe brings out the fact that there are sentient and non-sentient substances in the world. The soul is sentient and other objects devoid of this faculty are matter, time, space media of motion and rest. The special characteristic of matter is taste, smell, touch and colour. All that is comprehended by the senses is material. Like the conscious soul, matter is also indestructible. These objects are eternal, therefore, they are not created by any agency whether super-natural or superhuman. The whole panorama of nature is the outcome of the union or the chemical action of atoms due to their inherent property of smoothness and aridity. The variegated forms and appearances are evolved out of these material atoms.
This has driven many a thinker to the conclusion that some Intelligent and Supreme Being is at the helm of affairs. He creates, destroys and recreates. The entire world dances attendance to His sweet wishes. He is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Enjoyer of transcendental bliss.
Jain thinkers do not agree with this idea. The rational mind is at a loss to understand why Good, Happy, Great, Omnipotent and Omniscient God created the world which is full of sufferings, inequalities and barbarities as the lot of the majority of its creatures ?
The argument that every object has a creator is not of universal application. When the world-creator is believed to be self-existent, why not the same logic be applicable to other objects as well ? If the world was looked after by Benevolent, Merciful, Omniscient and Omni-potent Lord of the Universe, the harrowing and horrifying calamities like earthquake, destruction by flood and similar catastro-phies involving the loss of innumerable innocent and poor beings should have been easily averted. In view of the occurrence of such tragic incidents, the rational mind has to admit that this sort of working of the universe does not depend upon the sweet wishes or directives of the Supereme, Benevolent and Merciful Lord. Therefore, we have to accept the self-existent nature of the universe.
This does not mean that the Jains do not believe in the existence of God or Parmatman. They do believe in the existence of God or Parmatman—The Pure and Passionless Soul, who is Perfect and Blissful and who has no hand in the making or destruction of this world. It is a matter of regret that the Jains are called Atheists by some people. The Chambers Dictionary meaning of the word is ``one who disbelieves in the existence of God (Gr. a. neg., and theos, God). Theist is ``one who believes in God. Therefore, the appropriate nomenclature for a Jain would be a ``Theist rather than ``Atheist, because Jains believe in God and worship the Lord in their own way. Worship of God is an essential daily duty enjoined upon a votary of Jainism. He is also expected to practice these fourfold virtues, that is he must be just, `Affectionate', Introspective and `Noble.' The word `Jain' stands for these rules of good conduct, which are universal and nonsectarian.
Jains worship perfect and passionless God for the sake of mental purity and spiritual advancement. This worship is, in fact, the `Ideal worship' rather than `Idol worship'. The concentration and meditation towards the passionless and peaceful idol assist the common man in getting release from the clutches of baser and evil propensities. The Jain view of worship is a purely psychological process, whereby the aspirant develops himself and gradually attains the status of omniscience and bliss, the characteristics of God-hood.
The observation of Vivekanand are illminating, ``The Buddhists or the Jains do not depend upon God but the whole force of their religion is directed to the great central truth in every religion, to evolve a God out of man. (Essentials of Hindusm, P. 36).
The embodied mundane Jiva can rise to the highest Status of Godhood. The reputed Jain scholar C. R. Jain's elucidation is illuminating. ``The difference between an unevolved Jiva and a fully evolved one is exactly the same as that between a dirty mirror and a clean one. Both are alike in respect of their reflecting power, but not in reference to the actual functioning thereof. The ordinary Jiva is like a dirty mirror, which has to be rubbed and polished before it can be expected to rake its place by the side of the finest specimens of that class. (Introduction to The Parmatma Prakasha p. 6).
It is argued that the soul will not be punished or rewarded if we do not accept any universal ruler of this world. According to the Jain theory, the mundane soul acquires karmas, which are the causes for the happiness or misery of the individual. No one can escape from the cluthes of karmas. A burglar or a criminal can befool a magistrate and move about scotfree; on the other hand, an innocent poor-fellow may be punished by the dispenser of justice. Such practices are utterly absent under the just and exact working of the karma, which is based upon the in violable law of cause and effect. The manifold conditions of sentient beings are due to the fruition of karmas acquired by the Jiva in the past. In fact, `I am the captain of my soul and the architect of my bright or dismal future.' This message of Self-reliance is the corner-stone of Jain philosphy.
The nature of karma has been thus explained. The mundane soul has got vibrations through body, mind or speech. The molecules, which assume the form of mind, body or speech. The molecules, which assume the form of mind, body or speech engender, vibrations in the Jiva, whereby an infinite number of subtitle atoms is attracted and assimilated by the Jiva. The assimilated group of atoms is termed as `Karma'. In Sanskrit literature the word karma ordinarily stands for action, but in Jain philosophical terminology it has a different connotation. The effect of karma is visible in the multifarious conditions of the mundane soul. As a red-hot iron ball when dipped into water attracts and assimilates its particles or as a magnet draws iron filings towards itself due to the magnetic force, in the like manner the soul propelled by its psychic experiences of infatuation, anger, pride, deceit and avarice attracts karmic molecules and becomes polluted by these karmas. The psychic experience is the instrumental cause of this transformation of matter into a karma; as the clouds are instrumental in the change of sun's rays into a rainbow.
When the material karmas come in contact with the soul, fusion occurs; whereby a new condition springs up, which is endowed with marvellous potentialities and is more powerful than the atom-bombs. One can easily imagine this awe-inspiring power of karmas, which has covered infinite knowledge, infinite power, infinite bliss of the soul and has made a beggar of this soul, which is intrinsically no less than a Parmatmana-Pure and Perfect Soul. Psychic experiences of anger etc. cause the fusion of karmas and these karmas again produce feelings of attachment, aversion or anger etc. thus the chain of karmic bondage continues ad infinitum.
The world is teeming with infinite souls, who by their dispositions are instrumental in transforming non-sentient matter into karmas, which become possessed of indescribable potentialities. After the termination of their operation-period the karmas no longer act as a clog on the spiritual progress. The entire world is active with karmic molecules. It appears that this fact is now acknowledged by our modern scientists also, when they observe, ``The world is radio-active. It always has been and always will be. Its natural radio-activities evidently are not dangerous and we can conclude from this fact that contamination from atomic bombs, if of the same mangnitude as these natural radiations, is not likely to be at all dangerous.
Acharya Pujyapada in his Sarvartha Siddhi throws valuable light in this matter. ``Just as the digestive fire of the stomach (the gastric fluid or juice) absorbs food suitable to it, so also the self attracts karmas with duration and fruition corre-sponding to the virulent, mild or moderate nature of passions. Just as the mixing of severai juices of barley, flowers and fruits in a vessel produces intoxicating liquor, so also matter present coextensive with the self becomes transformed into karmic matter owing to the presence of activities and passions. (Reality p. 218).
When the husk of paddy is removed from it, the rice loses its power of sprouting; like wise when the husk of karmic molecules is severed from the mundane soul, the resulting Perfect Jiva can not be enchained by the regermination of karmas. The nature of soul, entangled in the cob-web of transmigration can be understood easily, when we divert our attention to the impure gold found in a mine. The association of filth with golden ore is without beginning, but when the foreign matter is burnt by fire with various chemicals the resulting pure gold glitters; in the like manner the fire of right belief, right knowledge and right conduct destroys the karmic bondage in no time. If the fire of Self-absorption is intense the work of destruction of karmas can be completed within a span of 48 minutes. This point is made clear by the example of sun's rays, which when converged on one point ignite fire, but when they diverge they do not exhibit the power of burning. The destruction of karmas in the fire of self-absorption does not mean entire annihilation of the atoms, but it denotes the dissociation of karmic molecules from the soul. Democritus said, ``Ex-nihilo nihil et in nihilum nihil potest re verti. Nothing can ever become something nor can something become nothing. This principle is corroborated by the Hindu scripture Gita also (2—16).
The contact of karmas with the soul has no beginning. As the relation of seed and tree has no beginning because every seed is got from a tree, which comes out of some other seed; thus the connection of seed and tree is without beginning. When the seed is burnt in fire it will never regerminate into a tree. In the like manner when the seed of dispositonal impurities, attachment and aversion is burnt by right type of penances and austerities, the karmas are completely destroyed. There is no logical connection between infinity and endlessness. The state of Nirvana or liberation has a beginning, but no end.
When the jiva has noble thoughts of love, sympathy, compassion and the like, auspicious or agreeable karmic matter clings to the soul. When the period of fruition of karmas arrives the soul is placed in favourable circumstances and it enjoys superb pleasures of the world; on the other hand a person possessed of callous heart derives pleasures in the distress and agony of the miserable soul. He is not moved by the pitiable plight of the sick, disabled, hungry, decrepit or the distressed, whereby inauspicious karmic matter is accumultated and consequently the Jiva suffers pain and untold miseries and does not obtain desired peace and happiness. The pleasure or pain obtained by means of auspicious or inauspicious karmas lasts for a limited period. Its duration and intensity depend upon the pitch of our dispositions, when our soul had accumulated the karmic molecules by mental or vocal or physical activities or vibrations.
These karmas have been classified into eight kinds.
(1) Gyanavarniya Karma is that which obstructs knowledge. It acts as a hindrance in the attainment of Omniscient knowledge, the inherent and natural right of every soul. It has been compared to a curtain, which obstructs the vision of our desired objects enveloped thereby Due to this very karma we come across innumerable differences in the faculty of comprehension amongst the mundane souls. This karma explains why one is a brilliant genius and the other is an idiot.
This karma is accumulated by such activities or mental dispositions, which are associated with the sinful habit of directly or indirectly obstructing the light of knowledge.
(2) Darshnavaraniye Karma obstructs that form of consciousness, which precedes knowledge. It is accumulated by the soul if evil practices referred to as the knowledge-obstructive karma obstruct the per+ception feculty of the soul, e.g., a gatekeeper hinders the entrance of a visitor to the residence of a dignitary, similarly this Karma obstructs the perception of objects.
(3) Vedaniya Karma enables the soul to have sensations of pleasure or pain through senses, The sensation of pleasure is not the experience of spiritual happiness, for the pleasure obtained by the operation of this karma is artificial, spurious as well as deceptive e.g., a person enjoys the sweetness of the small quanity of honey applied to the sharp edge of a sword and ultimately meets the tragedy of his tongu being chopped or severly wounded. The enjoyment of carnal pleasures is like the taste of honey-drop. The reactions of this karma produce the sensation of indescribable agony when a person is deeply injured or wounded.
If the soul is interested in noble and pious practices and leads the life of renunciation and self-control, keeps the company of the good and helps the troubled people, It accumulates the Sata Vedaniya Karma; on the other hand the cruel activities and the life of lust lead to distress producing Asata Vedaniya Karma, whereby the soul passes its time in deep anguish and agony.
(4) Mohaniya Karma is the ring-leader of Karmas and causes delusion and perverts the view of self and non-self. It is the root of all miseries. It has been compared to an intoxicant or liquor whereby the drunkard loses all senses and discriminating faculties between right and wrong. This faculty of judging between beneficient and pernicious path is paralysed and so he appears like a spiritually insane and mentally sick fellow. This karma cripples the discriminating faculty of the soul and so the person caught in the cob-web of deceptive objects of the world roams about like a deer running after a mirage in some desert to quench its thurst but to no purpose.
The mundane soul really needs few objects, but out of greed it wants to amass more and more. It leaves them behind while departing from this world. This perverted, pernicious and wrong attitude is the result of this Mohaniya Karma. As long as this Mohaniya karma exists the soul is unable to make desired progress on the spritual path of Nirvana.
(5) Ayu Karma determines the length of life in a particular body. This karma makes the soul captive in a particular body for a limited period in the four conditions of life. Due to this karma a person enjoys long lease of life or prematurely dies. This karma is like a clock. When we wind a clock it moves on and indicates correct time, but if it is disturbed, and its winding screw gets affected, the clock stops all of a sudden. Similarly, a soul inhabits a particular body in accordance with this karma but if one disturbs the operation of this karma, the soul soon departs to occupy another body which has been pre-arranged by this very Jiva due to his dispositions. Premature death occurs when a person is poisoned or is afflicted by serious sickness without necessary medicallaid etc. Thus the span of life is cut short. This premature death has been termed as Akala-Maran. Jain view is that life can be cut short but it cannot be prolonged beyond the limit fixed in the previous birth. The pious souls are born as heavenly beings or happy persons. One devoted to mammon-worship and in inordinate greed becomes a brute or a hellish being and suffers untold miseries-Socrates had said, ``The sensual soul...... goes to the body of an ass; the unjust or tyrannical soul into the body of a wolf or a like....only the souls of philosopher go and live with God. That is why philosophy abstains from bodily pleasures... The soul goes to place that is glorious. (Trial and Death of Socrates).
(6) Nama Karma is responsible for physical forms, complexion, constitution etc. of the body. This Karma predetermines the constitution of physical frame which is to be occupied by the soul after death. When a person dies his gross body is left here but his subtle bodies named Tejas and Karamana follow the Jiva till liberation is attained In Hindu scriptures the subtle body is known as Linga Sharira. The infinit varieties of living beings and their manifold forms are due to this karma which is like a painter, who with the aid of his brush and colour paints ugly or lovely designs. Similarly this karma is responsible for the multiplicity of physical forms put on by the Jiva. This karma is an extermely interesting principle alomost anticipating many elements of modern biological theory. Theory of Nama Karma tries to explain many of the biological problems (The Religion of Ahimsa P 90).
Ordinarily people hold God responsible for this variegated world, but Jain philosophers hold this Nama Karma as the cause of bringing out manifold forms and physical changes. The soul puts on the size of the body that is provided to it by this karma.
Some thinkers suppose that the soul lile the body must be also impermanent. Jain logicians have refuted this illogical stand which is contradicted by our experiences as well. Since the experiences of pleasure and pain do not exist outside the body, the natural conclusion will be, the soul does not exist outside its habitation. As long as the soule is wandering in the world it has to remain in the body that is provided to it by this Nama Karma. After Nirvana the physical body does not imprison the soul and so the liberated soul's size does not undergo any further change. Its size remains almost like the last human body which was abandoned prior to the attainment of emancipation.
(7) Gotra Karma causes birth in high or low family. As the potter by means of wheel shapes the clod of earth into small or big earthen-wares in the like manner a Jiva is placed in a high or low status as is determined by this karma. A person engaged in the vicious habit of speaking ill of others and flattering himself is reborn in a low and down-trodden family. On the other hand the gentle, humble noble and meek person obtains high status in life and brilliant surroundings which are favourable for supreme spiritual advancement.
(8) Antaraya Karma acts as an impediment in the attainment of desired objects. Its function is to mechanically put up obstacles in the enjoyment of the fruits of the various favourable karmas e.g., a man patronised by the beldame fickle fortune and all the treasures of the world is not able to enjoy the sweet fruits of his agreeable surroundings because of this karma. If this karma operates one cannot enjoy best health in spite of all efforts to keep himself fit. This karma is a accumulated by evil practices such as butchery of animals, maliciously injuring or hurting others, putting impediments in the pious practices of the noble souls and doing other evil activities.
Several times thousands of people accumulate the similar type of karmas under common circumstances and when the time of fruition arrives all are affected thereby. This gives us some idea of such common freaks of it which amaze all the world e.g., earth-quake shocks, death of multitudes in some epidemic or incendiarism and the like.
It is to be noted that due to their past accumulated karmas the wise and the pious suffer in the present period of their life and the wicked enjoy the fruits of their past good karmas. The present life reaps the harvest of the seeds of karmas sown in the past but the karmas that are being sown at present will produce their result in due course of time.
The relation of the soul with the karmas is visualised from different points. From the practical or `Vyavahara' point of view the soul is made captive by the karmic forces till final liberation is attained. From the realistic or `Nishchaya' point of view the soul is always pure and free from karmic contamination. Truth comprises of both the view-points. The aspirant should ascertain the point that his soul is in no way inforior to the soul of Parmatman, but he ought to bear in mind also his present condition of karmic contamination. One who forgets this practical aspect and wronglty thinks himself free and liberated meets the tragic fate of a sick and foolish person who goes against medical guidance mistaking himself as quite hale and hearty. The word hod and the pronoun `I' are written in capital letter. This appears to suggest that the mundane soul is intrinisically adorned with Divine attributes, which can be manifested by destroying the hindering karmas.
The wise persons should concentrate their attention upon the valuable sermon of saint Kunda-kunda to get rid of the karmic thraldom and attain everlasting Bliss and Immortality. ``The Jiva with attachment gets himself bound by karmas but one adorned with detachment becomes free from the bondage of karmas. This is the message of Lord Jina-the victor. Therefore, do not evince attachment for karmas. We should never lie prostrate before the forces of evil and temptations. We should remember the memorable words of Washington; `Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above it. Every soul should resolve to get rid of karmic shackles and attain the goal of diberation and immortality.
We should not forget that this body is in reality a prison-house for the embodied soul. The awakened man should try to destroy the karmas by the fire of Supreme Concentration to attain Gohood and become Parmatma. The aspirant for Nirvana should meditate upon this Central Truth, ``My self is ever one, Eternal, pure and all-knowing in its essence; the rest are all outside me, non-eternal and the consequences of my past karmas.
This point should be borne in mind that our soul accumulates karmas and experiences pleasure or pain on fruition. The same soul can destroy the karmic filth in the fire of right faith, right knowledge and right conduct.
The Philosophy of Syadvada is a valuable contribution of Jainism to the world thought.This doctrine is also termed as ' Anekantacada'. In fact, every substance consists of infinite attributes. The philosophy which, deals with the consistent and complimentary description of these attributes is known as the doctrine of Syadvada or Anekantvada.
The word 'Anekantvada' consists of three words; 'Anek(Deveskeâ) 'Anta' (Devle) 'Vada' (Jeeo) 'Anek' means many , 'Anta' signifies attributes and `voda' means description. Therefore, etymologically the whole word means the description of mani-fold attributes. In Syacvada we have also the similar idea. It consists of two words; 'Syat' and 'Vada' This 'Syat' suggests the existence of infinite attributes, although the expression asserts about a particular attribute 'Syat' suggests that from a particular stand point the truth reveals it self in a particular form. From other view-points the same substratum appears to possess other attributes. Thus Syadvada deals with Truth having manifold aspects. With regard to the description of the substratum or its attributes, it deals with particulars aspects, but dues not deny the existence of other attributes or qualities. Therefore, this doctrine is knoen as the philosophy of non-absolutism or relative pluralism. Dr. F.W. Thomas calls this as " Quo-dammodo doctrine" (Academic-Verlag. Berlin)
In fact , in the world of philosophy this doctrine adopts the policy of ' co-existence'. As in Ahimsa we have the practice of `live and lct live' ideal, similoaly. in the domain of philosophy the entelleetus aspect of impartility and concord upholds the similer treatment of attributes. It treads and describes ------------ of a substratum in a friendly way.
Syadvada has not the outlook of a tyrant, who, due to short-sighted motive, wants to destroy others and enjay peace upon the pyre of other's happiness. This is not the case of gentleman and a cultured person.As a cultured person, taking care of his own rights, dose not infringe upon the legtmetr righs of others, in the like manner in the intellectual world syadvada ordains us to adopt the policy of a cultured man, whose out-look is not blurred by shortsightedness. If this judicious attitude is kept in view while treating philosophical subjects, discord will disappear; on the other hand real concord and harmony will be established.
Some writers erroneously explain Syadvada as perhaps philosophy' But really speaking this doctrine banishes all confusion and gives a definite, precise, clear and correct perspective of Truth. It is indispensable to acqurie full knowledge of truth.It is wrong to think of this doctrine as a form of scepticism because it gives us most precise, exact and definite guidance and there is not an iota of doubt orsuspicion. In suspicion the mind oscillates, moves to and fro and no definite decision is arrived at. Here in Syadvada we have a definite predication from the particular view-point e.g., a substance is perishable from the point of view of its ever-changing modifications. This assertion is definite. The same objects is without change and is also permanent, If observed from the stand-point of the material, out of which it is compsed. This view also is definit. A piece of paper catches fire. Form the view-point of paper it is destroyed , for we don't see its existence but the particles, rather the matter, which was present in the form of parper is not at all destroyed. It has changed its form and it exists in another form. Everybody feels that what is existent cannot be non existent. This statement avers partial truth, because from the stand-point of modification the conditions are undergoing changes. The ocean from the point of view of water appears the same alugys; but from the view-point of its ever changing waves it cannot be escribed as without any change.
Thus in Syadvada every predication is definite and precise.The seemingly contrary statement will appear true if they are viewed in the light of this doctrine of conciliation and concord. With the help of Syadvada we can comprehend the true nature of reality. Substances are characterised by an infinite number of attributes but for the sake of use or need prominence is given to certain characteristics of the substance from one point of view and prominence is not given to other characteristices, as these are of no us or need at that time. Thus even the existing attributes are noot expressed as these are of secondary importance. There is no contradiction in what is established by these two points of views. (Reality P.157).
Some thinkers like Shanker and Ramanuja see contradicion in the above statement. Jain logician Ananta Virya has refuted the charges asserting that reality consists of positive abd Negative assertions, therefore, we should be honest and faithful to reality. We cannot change the nature of object, according to our conjectures . Our duty is to describe reality. We cannot change the nature of objects , according to our conjectures.Our duty is to describe realty as we experience it. Our thinking cannot affect the nature of the objects. Supposing the Parliament passes a resolution that the Sun has no right to always rise in the East, other directions also should have the blessings of having the Sun's rise; do you think that this sort of suggestion or desire of the members will change the Sun-rise from the East to other directions? Certainly not ; therefore, it is fair on our part to describe reality in its naked majesty without fear or favour.
Einstein's theory of 'Relativity, helps us to comprehend the rationality and soundness of this philosophy of syadvada. Einstein's remarks are illuminating, "If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare me that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue , France will say that I am a German and Germony will declore that, I am a Jew" He explains his theory in these word, "when a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it is longer than an hour. This is relativity" (Hitavada, 8th march 1970).
We must owe our allegiance to unmasked truth. In " Freedom at Mid-Night" the following elucidation about truth is explained in these words, "Gandhi's truth however had two faces, The absolute and the relative. Man as long as, he was in the flesh had only fleeting intimations of absolute truth. He had to deal with relative truth in his daily existence" (P-92). Here relative truth stands for Syadvada doctrine. Blind faith in the perverted stand of our ancestors will put hurdles in the way of our intellcctual as well as material advancement. Reality has no relationship with ancestors or antiquity or the views of the majority. The crucification of the idol of love and goodness-jesus christ, clearly proves that the majority view should not always be supposed to reflect truth or justice. Reality is in fact related to Truth and Justice. It is associated with head and not counting of hands.The forgetfulness of this basic point has brought about tragedy of huge errors resulting in horrifying incidents in human history.
The remarks of James Froude are illuminating, "We cannot make true things false or false things true by choosing to think them so. We cannot vote right into wrong or wrong into right. The enternal truths and rights and things exist fortunately independent of our thoughts or wishes, fixed as mathematics inherent in the nature of man and the world".
Truth is not one-sided, therefore one-sided view is sure to go against truth and reality. You cannot describe that your pencil five inches long is small or big. It can equally be predicated big as well as small . when compared with three inches long object the pencil is longer, but the same pencil is smaller when described from the view-point of the object which is six inches long. We feel that one thing cannot possess the quality of smallness and otherwise, but we can't help it. Our experience shows the hollowness of the onslaughts made upon this invincible philosophy of harmony and concord basded upon the sound bed-rock of our exprience.We should not try to reason against our experience. Fire is hot as is known from common experience. If somebodfy begins to argue that fire must be cold since its luster is like that of the moon which is not hot, such jugglery does not serve the purpose of truth.
This point must be borne in mind that different predications are not made form one and the same point of view.truth perceived from different angles appears eontradictory, but in reality those partial visions are complimentary. Professor Hajima Nakamura of Tokyo talking about the dilemma of East and West has made interesting observations, which show that truth is relative, ``If East is East and West is West, which is East and which is West ? India, which is East to the Americans has always been and will remain West to the Chinese and Japanese. Hiuen Tsang has entitled the diary of his Indian sojourn as the travel records in the West (Amrit Bazar Patrika, Calcutta, 27-9-1966).
Take another example. Suppose one John dips his right hand into a bucket full of hot water and the left one in the icy cold water. Soon after he dips his both hands into a basin containing luke-warm water. What is the result ? The right hand experiences cold, whereas the left hand gets the sensation of heat. The lukewarm water have rise to two contradictary sensations. This simple example gives us a clue to appreciate the philosophy which opposes absolute and onesided predications.
Philosopher Hegel seems to support this system of thought when he says, ``Every thing contains within itself its opposite. It is impossible to conceive of anything without conceiving anything of its opposite. A cow is a cow and is at the same time not a car. A thing is itself only, because at the same time it is not something else. Every thesis for an argument has its antithesis. Truth lies on both sides of every question. The truth is either-sided. All nature is a reconcillation of opposites.
In the parable of seven blind-born persons it is said that they were describing various limbs of an elephant as the whole elephant. This made them quarrel. One who had touched the feet thought it like a pillar and who had touched his ears affirmed him like a winnowing fan. The passer-by found out the real cause of their quarrel and he said to them, ``Friends, every oue of you is correct. The mistake is that you have the knowledge of partial truth which you suppose to be the whole truth about the elepahant. If all your statements are properly combine we get the complete description of the elephant. In the like manner various philosophies have cropped up due to the partial visions of truth. This harbinger of harmony suggests rational reconciliation among the warring concepts and thus the whole truth is revealed.
These remarks of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan are illuminating, ``Individual freedom and social justice are both essential for human welfare. We may exaggerate the one or underestimate the other, but he who follows the Jain concept of Anekantavada, Saptabha ginaya or Syadvada will not adopt that kind of cultural regimentation. He will have the spirit to discriminate between the right and wrong in his own and in the opposite views and try to work for a greater synthesis. That should be the attitude, which we should adopt. So the necessity for selfcontrol. The practice of Ahimsa and also tolerance and appreciation of other's point of view-these are some of the lessons, which we can acquire from the great life of Mahavira. (Mahavira Jayanti Speech 1955, New Delhi, India Govt. Publication).
Syadvada suggests us to see reality from digfferent angles. From the generic view-point of mere existence all are one, be they substratum, attributes or modes. There is no Dualism or Pluralism. But there is other view-point also. From the stand-point of substratum, attributes or modes there is no Monism but Pluralism. Therefore, reality would be described both ways From the view-point of existence or `Sata'. Monism represents the truth; whereas from the stand-point of details and diversities, Pluralism is equally true. When we have the sense-of-class without its component parts, we adopt the generic view, but when we have the individual sense instead of the class-view, we speak of reality which denies the generic-sense. The class-view is different from the particular view; e. g., the word `European' comprises of the English, Germans, French etc. When we have the idea of different nationalities the nomenclature `European' would not serve our purpose, in that case we will be inclined to distribute the word into different nations of Europe only. If we use a wider term `mankind, the entire human race will be convered by this general term. The widest term is `Sata' or Existence. This term has no divisions.
This doctrine of Syadavada always adopts a friendly and rational approach to reality. As positive and negative wires of electricity when joined together produce brilliant light similarly seemingly—opposite approaches of truth like positive and negative aspects of thought when coordinated produce light as well as delight.
Gandhiji once told me in 1934 that he had very high regard for the doctrine of Syadvada or Anekantvada. He practised it in his life. Gandhiji in his letter to Boyd Jucher on 23-3-35 wrote, ``I have a profound faith in the Jain doctrine of Anekantavada. It is the many-sidedness as opposed to onesidedness (Collected works of Mahatma Gandhi Govt. of India Publications 170, Volume 54). The Presindent of Indian Republic Dr. Rajendra Prasad's appreaciation of this doctrine is significant, ``This doctrine of Syadvada is a valuable contribution of Jainism to Indian religion and world philosophy. It consists of catholic views along with the capability to appreciate others' approaches to reality. (Research Institute of Prakrit, Jainology and Ahimsa, Calender 1955—1960).
Syadvada illumines the path of complete truth and liberty. Jesus had said, ``Ye shall know the truth and truth shall make you free. Complete truth can be properly understood by philosophy of Syadvada which is above shortsighted comprehension of reality. Acharya Amrit Chandra has suggested to take lesson from the milk-maid while she churns the curd. ``As a milk-maid obtains butter out of curd by drawing one side of the rope and loosening the other side; similarly this doctrine makes one attribute essential from a particular point only, but then other attributes become secondary. This process of thinking and its expression undergoes a change like the tightening and loosening of the rope by the milk-maid while churning.
This rational and scientific attitude of intellectual impartiality is of immense use for scientific or philosophical researches. We must realise that our intellect is too small to comprehend the entire reality. Our limited intellect can have a glimpse of a few facts of the grand truth. In this context Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru's observations are remarkable; ``We have to realise that truth is many-sided and it is not the monopoly of any group-formation. (Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan Journal, Bombay).
Syadvada stands unique in the domain of world thought and if followed into practice, it will bring inner harmony and lasting peace to humanity.
Jainism and Peace
Modern man has made tremendous progress in the domain of science and technology. There is reailly vast difference between the man of the socalled Stone-age and the man of our modern times, who has entered into the unique space age. But inspite of this material advancement, real and lasting peace is not within reach. A critical examination of present day conditio mns show that we lead the life of luxury and multiplicity. We have forgotten our soul and we are solely devoted to physical comforts and material prosperity. We appear to have captured the secret of the dead atoms, but we seem to have lost sight of the glory of the living soul, which is the repository of infinite attribures Our complex way of living is increasing our requirments and needs and we do not get the real satisfaction we need. As saline water dose not quench our thirst, it rather gose on increasing , similary, the greater the number and variety of objects to placate our everchanging fastidious tastes and longings, the more uneasy and unhappy we become when our way ward mind dose not get its desired objects. This form of life has made us slaves of temptations and material comforts. We have captivated ourselves in the meshes of attachment and aversion. We have forgotten that this enchanting edifice of progress built on the sand of soul-less materialism will not last long. We do not take lesson from the ruins of Rome and Greece which were once on the apex of civilization and material prosperity. These words of Wordsworth are very significant:
The world is too much with us, late and soon,
Getting and spending ,we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours ;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon.
We are devoted to unbridled lust, luxury and licentiousness feed our animal passions. We mourn and bewail for our miseries and mental worries as if some outer agency is the mischief-monger, but, in fact, we are solely and wholly responsible for all ourills and evils.
We forget that we should subjugate our animal nature. That sensible man should not sacrifice his rationality at the alter of beastliness and carnal craving. The mental and moral make-up of the man of this self-induligent age is bewildering. He is shorn of real inner- life. He is ready to kill millons of man to satisfy his vanity, whim , nationality and greed. He has a heart of stone. Billy Granham rightly remarks that we live in an age of spiritual emptiness. He says, "Whils Nietzsche asserts that God died nin the 19th century, some now add that man died in the twentieth century."(The World Aflame)
The real cause of univesal unrest and misery is our uncontrolled acquisitive temperament and the insanity of vanity. We are so much seldish and self centred that we pay no heed to the pangs and anguish of the poor and the weak. The monster of materialism is guiding and goading the economic man to satisfy his animal appetites little caring for moral values. The wise suggests that the inordinate desires should be subdued and checked. As a matter of fact our genuine needs are few. Our inordinate greed makes us possess ae much as we can. We forget that our stay in this body is very uncertain. Who knows that in twinkling of your eyes we may have to depart from yhis temporary tabernacle? In that case all our material gaine and possessions remain behind. The words of the old Testament turn out to be true, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb and naked shall I return." Not even a prariticle is taken away by the departed soul with it except one's Punya and Papa-merits and demerits.
In this context the words of Emerson are illuminating; "Several land-lords owned large farms, which rendered them bumper crops of corn , apples, hay, hemp and other things. The landlords said that they were they were the masters of the farms . Hearing this the Earth echoed back.
They call me theirs'
Who so controlled me;
Yet every one
Wished to stay and is gone.
How am I theirs'
If they cannot hold me.
But I hold them.
It is unfortunate that the dictum of modern man is: Gold is God and Gold i.e. material gains oly will solve all puzzles. Thomas Fuller's observations are sensble and significant, " Contentment consisteth not in adding more fuel, but in taking away some fire; not in multi-plying of wealth, but in subtracting man's desires".
We should not aim at the life of a glutton or the pleasures of a pig Since we are rational beings we should set highest value not on living any how, but on living well. It is ne-science which has dragged us to the brink of destruction, wherein war and carnage are looming ahead. The voice of reason ordains, "Thou shalt not build thy happiness on the misery of another." We should stope our mad race for worldly pleasures of we seriously aspire to achieve genuine and perenial peace. Jain sages and thinkers advise us to cut short our wants as much ar possible so that we may be one day above all sorts of wants; because we see, the lesser the wants, the greater is the quality and quantity of simplicity and purity bestows sweeter result then the lifeof luxury and perplexity.
The following description of poet Tagore's Santiniketan university is significant, " In Santiniketan boys learned to think truth more important than riches, to love nature and to respect all life. He believed that india's work is to teach the world the love of outward simplicity and inward truth. People gather too many things round them- money, motors, radios and lose the secret of real happiness and to do so She needs modern forest schools away from the noise and rush of town" (Sykes, Rabindranath Tagore p.52).
These words of the poet are illuminating, I do not seek to glorify poverty, but simplicity is of greater price than the appendages of luxury. The simplicity of which I spwak is not merely the effect of a lack of superfluity; it is one of the signs of per fection. When this dawns on mankind, the unhealthy fog. which now besmirches civilization will be lifted. It is for this lack of simplicity that the necessaries of life have become so rare and costly." (The Centre of Indian Culiure p.7).
How touching and sarcastic are these remarjs of Poet Tagore, " Happy child, the cradle is still to boundless world will be too small for thee." His acquisitive temperament increases by leaps and bounds.
Some hold that civilization consists in the increasing of wants and the plans to satisfy them. This view is contradicted by our own experiences. The want is really like devil, which can never be satisfied. Acharya Gunbhadra's reasoning is very sound when he says; " Every living being has such a deep pit of worldly desires that all objects in the world amount to a particle for it. What and how much, then, can each get ? Useless is the desore of sense- enjoyments."
The retional and noble mind understands that he is not the body. The self or the soul is different from the material body. The ignorant forgets his ownself and treats his frame as his own Self. American physician Holmes throes light upon human body as follows," A few gallons of water, a few pounds of carbon and lime, some cubic feet of air, an ounce or two of phosphorus, a few grams of iron, a lash of common salt , a pinch or two of sulphur, a grain or more of each of several hardly essential ingredients and we have man." This material man has been further explained thus, "93"% of the weight of the body is mads up of three elements-oxygen, carbon and hydrogen; nearly six per cent of nitrogen , calcium and phosphorous and the rest of traces, but very important traces of various minerals and salts among which iron and iodine are the most necessary".
Jain saints have advised us not to be bodyminded, nut we should try to think of the Kingdom of heaven hidden within . We must understand this central truth about the self. Acharyan Kundakund says: " Absolutely pure, having the nature of perception and knowledge, always non-corporeal, I am indeed unique. Hence not even an atom of alien things, whatsoever (whether living or non-living) is related to me----- as mine."
The spiritual-man is adorned with the above eental truth. The knowledge of the soul together with its attributes is very essential to achieve everiasting peace. It frees the soul from the pangs of birth, old age, death and transmigration in the world. Vivekanand has said; " Without the knowledge of the spirit all materil knowledge is only adding fule to the fire. Religions of the world have become lifeless moceres. What we want is character. To be and to do good, that is the whole of religion."
His Holimess Charitra Chakravarty Jain Acharya Shantisagar, Maharaj talting about real happiness had once told me, " Material objects cause mental disteess and arouse several worries, whereby the mind cannot enjoy tranquillity and peace. The serenity of a lake is disturbed, when a pabble is pelted therein; in the like manner the material objects bring in their train disssatisfaction, mental worries and anxieties. This state of affairs acts as an imediment on the path of spiritual progress and perfect joy. His Holiness further observed, " Ahimsa and Truth will bestow genuine peace and happiness. Ahimsa stands for the abandonment of meat-eating , destruction of human or sub-human life. Thinking of doing evil to others or causing pain to fellow creatures is also to be abjured. Truth consists of realising our intrinsic material objects. The five-fold observance provide real peace to the individual and the society. Noninjury, truth, nonstealing, celibacy and abandoning ought to be partially observed by the householder. All nations should follow the principle of Ahimsa otherwise this volcano of violence will lead them to untold distress and universal destruction."
Out of ignorance we make a search for happiness in outward objects, when we ourselves are, in fact, the ocean of joy. which can be achieved by the life of purity. Thr Bible says, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." Purity consists of casting away the vicious way of thinking and living upto it. It dose note consist of sweet, silvertongued orations, shedding of crocodile tears or expression of pious, but insincere wishes. In foct , purity consists of the entire way of life based upon the golden gospel of mercy, compassion or Ahimsa for all beings. We ought to respect the legitimate rights of others. We should bear in mind that real mercy or compassion comprises of affection in action and reffection. It dose not consist of jugglery of affection-exhibiting and pleasing Vocal expressions.
The wine of violence has dethroned the soul from its Divine Status. One who sincerely wants real peace should devote some time for introspection and contemplation upon the real nature of the Self. He should think thus: " I am a living substance , The nature of material objects is different from that of mine. How can I be one with the matter which is different from my intrinsic mature. My soul is the real abode of infinite peace and boundless bliss. I should not foolishly run after material object for my happiness. As one cannot get oil out of sand for there is no oil in it ; likewise the material objects do not peace in material objects is the effort of finding peace in material objects is the greaest blunder.
These remarks are illuminating, " Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If a man love the world the love of the Father is not in him ." (John 11, 15-17)
Whan karmic bonds are broken by dint of self-contemplation I attain Godhood, which is the inherent right every aspring soul. Right faith, Right knowledge and Right cinduct combined lead to liberation and perennial joy and peace. Then disease, old age and death do not troyble the soul any more and it ramains happy for ever. The trident of spiritual force annihilates the entire army of the evil and establishes the kingdom of soul. Lord Tennyson's words are memorable:
Self-reverence, Self-knowledge, Self-control; These three alone lead life to Sovereign power. As a matter of fact, our very soul is a place of wonders. It has been working miracles in the domain of physical science. Due to stupefaction and ignorance we have for-gotten our powerful soul and we devote all our attention to the dead and non-sentient matter. Acharya Amritchandra says: one who is engrossed in his own Self , finds his solace in his Self and derives full satisfaction from his Self, enjoys transcendental and divine Happiness, which is beyond expression" We all are after enjoyment and feel that it is outside the Self. That Joy is not out of us. A little change in the word ' Enjoy' reveals the truth. We should read ' In-joy', if we want to enjoy. One whose attention is worship. The living to him. Such is the supremany of nescience and delusion . The person equipped with spiritual out-look tries to ' look in'. He is in a postion to have a taste of genuine peace for the abode of senses. Even the idol, which represents the ideal of introspective mood and which is devoid of all soris of physical covering or ornamantation gives pease and joy to the troubled mind.
This poin becomes clear when a man of any religius denomination or without religion beholds the Jain monolithic colossus of Lord Gommateshvara 57 feet high in the standing postture at Sravanbelgola near Mysore. A Kannada poet Boppana explains, what the silent serene serene sentinel appears to be speaking, " Why in vain do you make yourself wender in the forest of births by foolishly mistaking the various dying deities of the lend for gods? Think on Gommatadeva, who is of the from of the supreme soul, and you will get rid of birth , old age and other sorroes. No man shall take pleasure in killing, lying, stealing, adultery and covetousness, if he dose, he will lose for ever this world and the next Lo, Gommatadeva looks as if proclaiming this standing on high" (Inscriptions of Sravanbelgala dated 1080 A.D. pp. 98-99). In the presence of this majestic idol of ideal peace and joy one gets the answer to the pure and perfect souls are found in every Jain temple.
Deep thought reveals the point that the price for real peace is the life of universal brotherhood and mercy. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru's observations are significant, " Peace connot be purchased by compromisewith evil or surrender to it". The brute-in-man tries to enjoy without caring for the distress and anguish of other, but the gentleman's view point keeps in minds. George Bernard Shaw championed the cause of universal love and justice. He had observed, " If I were an omnipotent despot I should enforce vitality as to make my subjects independent of analgesics, intoxicatnts, stimulants, tobacco, fish, fiesh and fowl for their endurance of life."
Sober and serious thought enlightcns us that peace or happiness is only there where the genial and boundless current of compassion and universal love incessantly fiows. Killing the innocent or the weak is, in fact, the culture of vultures. It can never be real culture. this is not proper way to peace.
The message of Jainism is that miseries evolve out of violence or Himsa. The higher the type of non-injury the greater the peace enjoyed. Peace is not manufatctured any where. It is not attained by power or treasures of mighty monarchs or democratic institutions. It is the sublime reward of noble and virtuous life. The virtuous are always happy and peaceful whether they are poor or friendless or placed in worst circumstances. External environment does not disturb their inner joy and serenity of mind Unless a person is above want and mentally and morally strong, he cannot have a glimpse of peace. The novice should start his journey to the harbour of happiness by possessing less in the form of material objects cause the fall of the inner-man. How elevating and illuminating the words of the Jain Saint Gunbhadra are, " Just see the pans of a balance. That which is loaded goes down and the lighter one rises up; sinilarly a person possessed of the burden of the worldly objects will go down and the fellow with few objects will rise up."
Desire and lust enter the mind and corrupt the soul through the sense-gates .These senses stupefy the soul's right perspective and correct approach. The World Teacher and founder of Jainism Lord Rishabhadevo has warned us to control our desires and subjugate our ssnses We should not im at insentient matter as our final good. It fact , we have to save ourselves from the clutches of matter. One should aim at the manifestation of one's Divine attributes lying dormant in the mundane soul.
Jesus tells us that " This world is a bridge to pass on. It is not a place to play bridge thereon." Man forgets this noble gospel of wisdom and he keep himselfbusy in construeting huge mansions and repents when he has to leaveall his belongings while passing on to the other world.
It is worthy of note that Jain literature is replete with the ideas which elevate the soul and ism points out that our present day troubles are the consequences of Himsa- violence and unbridled acquisitive temperament. We should try our best to get rid of these evils.
We should utilise the two oars of Ahimsa and Aparigrha-non-violence and posscssion-lessness to protect our boat of life from sinking in the deeo sea of Transmigration and lead it to the hrbour of immortality and everlasting bliss.
The words of Saint Samanthadra are elevating and illuminating:- "One who desires to achieve spiritual peace, should eradicate the blemishes that deprave the soul " mJeoes<e-MeevlÙee efJeefnleelceMeeefvleŠ’’ (mJeÙebYetmleer$e) Verily, Self-absorption and cirtuous life lead to transcendental bliss and perennial peace. Internal purity and sublimity are indispensable for perennial peace and joy.
Jain Tirthankara's sermon for real happiness-
Then delight will follow,
As the day follows the night.
Man is a rational & sensinle creature. The word ' Man' suggests, "Man must be Merciful, Affectionate and Noble" Mercy is the path of Divinity and Godhood. It is the quint- essence of culture and purity. Mercy consists of affection in action and reflection towards all beings.
Amazing and enchanting achievement of material Science do not bestow real peace nnd tran quillity, for peace is a non-material spiritual attribute.
Panacea for all Ailments
Life is most dear to you, Similarly it is dear to the innocent , helpless, meek and mute creature.
Listen to the agonies of the voiceless Be viceless. Your physical body is a perishable object . Be wise before your soul leaves your corporeal coil.